5 Things to Know About 2,4-D, the “Possibly” Cancer-Causing Herbicide

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The majority of America’s farms rely heavily on herbicides—lots of them. So when the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the United States’ most widely used weed-killer, glyphosate, as “probably” carcinogenic to humans three months ago, it was big news. Now, the same group–the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that 2,4-D,… Read More

An Urban Farming Renaissance in Our Nation’s Capital

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On an April evening in northwest Washington, D.C., 11 gardeners sat at picnic tables watching Eriks and Andrejs Brolis, co-owners of Urban Farm Plans, a landscape design company and urban farm school. Some participants looked as if they’d hurried straight from the office, wearing dresses or button-down shirts; others sported T-shirts and jeans.

The Man Who Brought You the Sugar Snap Pea Has Something New up His Sleeve

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French Laundry culinary gardener Aaron Keefer knew what he cradled in his hands was special. Even legendary.

When he nestled the pea seeds into the ground just shy of spring this year, he had not only pored over a national magazine cover story lauding their distinctiveness, but The French Laundry’s Chef de Cuisine David Breeden had been pestering him for months to procure them to grow in the showcase garden of this landmark Yountville, California, restaurant. Read More

Distillers Join the Fight Against Food Waste

Apples are processed to make spirits at Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Rachel Inman.

When Moose Koons offered to buy overripe, misshapen, and undersized fruit from farmers in Palisade, Colorado, their reactions were all the same. “They thought we were nuts!” he recalls.

The tattoo-covered skateboarder-turned-distiller convinced local farmers that the peaches, pears, and apples that supermarkets didn’t want were perfect for distilling into artisan spirits. Read More

Can Mission-Driven Food Companies Avoid Selling Out?

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The recent sale of Applegate Farms to the giant food conglomerate Hormel came as a surprise to many in the food world who saw Applegate as an important alternative to corporate-run meat production.

But the sale wasn’t unique; in fact, it was part of a much larger pattern. From Kashi to Stonyfield, and Celestial Seasonings to Honest Tea, big food companies, hoping to capitalize on increasing consumer demand for organic and “natural” foods, have been snapping up small operations for years. Read More

4 Things You Should Know About the FDA’s Trans Fat Ban

Bryan Ochalla

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told food manufacturers to stop using partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the major source of artificial trans fats in processed foods ranging from nondairy creamers, to baked goods, margarine, and microwave popcorn. The move, the FDA said, “is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.” Read More